Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Terror, Authoritarian Violence and Cosmopolitan Protection


Principal Investiagtor: Prof. Timo Kivimäki

Research Team: Dr. Wali Aslam , Mr. Mattia Cacciatori , Ms. Barbara Buraczynska (University of Sheffield) and Dr. Brett Edwards.

Funder: University of Bath

Duration: 1 September 2015 – 1 December 2019


Project rationale and aims

In the long history of violence and conflict, the enlargement of security communities – zones of common security order, institutions and governance together with relatively common security identities, interests and norms – has invariably contributed to peace.

There is an emerging new global interest in the wellbeing of civilians that motivates an approach to security that this project calls “Cosmopolitan Protection” of civilians. This interest has expressed itself in the ideas of human security, responsibility to protect, disapproval of terrorism, the idea of enforcement of global humanitarian norms and the felt need to interfere in the so-called New Wars that threaten civilians with brutal senseless violence.

Clearly this interest and the consequent global cosmopolitan protection of global civilians can be seen as the next stage of enlargement of security communities, from national to global. Yet statistics of conflict fatalities show that Cosmopolitan Protection of civilians against terror and dictatorship has become the main source of escalation of conflict violence in the world.

This project tries to resolve this puzzle of apparent contradiction between mega-trends of violence and the currently observed trend. It will look at how 1) military means, 2) limited military options, as well as 3) global institutions – such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Criminal Court – try to control a) the most common threats to civilians (authoritarian violence and terrorism), b) the most violent means used against civilians (weapons of mass destruction) and c) the most violent acts (war crimes and crimes against the humanity) against global civilians.

Project outputs and impacts

Find out more about this project

Name: Prof Timo Kivimaki
Title: Professor
Department: Dept of Politics, Languages & International Studies
Location: 1 West North 2.39
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 384684